If you have been issued a visa for the territories of the Schengen States (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland) please note the following:
As soon as you receive your short-stay visa, make sure that all the information it contains is correct.
Check the following:
- Your passport has a passport number. This number is also indicated on the visa sticker. Make sure that these numbers are the same.
- You applied for your visa for a specific period or periods. Check that your air ticket corresponds with the entry and exit dates indicated on the visa sticker.
- Check that the number of entries you applied for (one, two, or multiple) corresponds with the number of entries indicated on your visa sticker.
- Check that your name is spelled correctly.
Do this yourself in order to avoid any problems or extra costs arising when using your visa. If you think that the information on the visa is incorrect, tell the German Embassy immediately, so that any errors can be corrected.
How to read the visa sticker
DURATION OF STAY………DAYS indicates the number of days, you may stay in the Schengen area. The days should be counted from the date you enter the Schengen area (the entry stamp) to the date you exit the Schengen area (the exit stamp), i.e. both days included. If you have been granted a visa with long-term validity (e.g. between 6 months and five years), the entry in this field indicates the number of days you may spend in the Schengen area within a period of 6 months.
The period of time between “FROM …UNTIL” is usually longer than the number of days printed in the “DURATION OF STAY” field. The difference in period is meant to give you flexibility to plan your entry into and exit from the Schengen area, but your stay in the Schengen area must never exceed the exact number of days in the “DURATION OF STAY …DAYS” field (in case of visas with long-term validity: within a period of six months, see above). No matter how many days you have stayed in the Schengen area, you must leave no later than the date printed in the “UNTIL” field.“
Controls at the border
Your short-stay visa allows you to travel to Germany and usually to other Schengen States. But it does not automatically entitle you to enter the Schengen area. So you may have to provide certain information at border or other controls. You may, for instance, have to provide information on your means of support, how long you intend to stay in Germany, and why you are visiting Germany. In some cases, such checks may result in a refusal for the visa holder to enter Germany or the Schengen area.
It is therefore recommended that you carry with you copies of the documents which you presented when you applied for the visa (e.g. letters of invitation, travel confirmations, other documents stating the purpose of your stay). This will help to make the border control procedure easier and avoid delays at the border.
NB: You must keep to the period of stay allowed by your visa. Misuse and overstay may result in you being expelled and banned from obtaining a new visa for a certain period of time.